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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War | [Max Brooks]

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
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Publisher's Summary

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the 12-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • Audie Award Finalist, Audiobook of the Year, 2007

"Hard to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5375 )
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  •  
    greg Yonkers, NY, United States 05-01-07
    greg Yonkers, NY, United States 05-01-07 Member Since 2006

    Geek, Gamer who hates wasting credits.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great addition to the living dead lore."

    This is great audio book, just as the title state, it and oral history of the zombie war. The full cast is fantastic and brings this well crafted, very human story to life. It’s not truly terrifying it’s more like sitting your Uncle telling war stories form Vietnam or the WWII. I found my self lost in the different stories as told by the survivor of the conflict.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenji New York, NY, USA 04-30-07
    Kenji New York, NY, USA 04-30-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too Funny..."

    Well written, well read, nicely presented. It's too bad that there isn't an unabridged one that's available.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Ashland, OR, USA 12-10-09
    Aaron Ashland, OR, USA 12-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could have been great!"

    This was my first download from Audible, and my initial instinct was to instantly turn the book off! I was blown away by the poor quality of the audio which was obviously compressed near to death. The production seemed like it may have been great, uncompressed, the way it was supposed to be heard, but alas, it took me quite a while just to get used to the quality.
    I also did not realize that it was abridged until after I downloaded it... HUGELY disappointing. (but can you imagine what it would have cost to have all those fancy pants narrators read the entire book?!) That being said, the narration, with the exception of the author (who was seemingly recorded separate from everyone else, and could not seem to act into or out of the transitions) was great! Dennis Boutsikaris and Alan Alda in particular.
    Though the interviews stand alone in the abridgement, there was some sporadic jargon that confused me, and seemed like may have been explained somewhere else that was cut. (NOT A FAN OF ABRIDGED AUDIOBOOKS!)
    All in all, an enjoyable listen, despite being far too brief, and poor quality compression.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan North Reading, MA, USA 09-17-08
    Jonathan North Reading, MA, USA 09-17-08
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    "Eh...it was OK."

    'I Am Legend' was 10 times better, if you're into the zombie genre.

    Some of the voice actors were kind of annoying. There were a couple of cool parts, but there was too much BS for me. I wasn't particularly fond of this style of audio book - the whole fictional-documentary thing.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis LA CRESCENTA, CA, United States 09-10-13
    Luis LA CRESCENTA, CA, United States 09-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    Story
    "Too politicized"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book was more bout what governments did after the zombie invasion versus being a book about zombies. I was expecting something akin to the walking dead or just about any other zombie book. I think thats why Brad Pitt wanted to do the movie. He is very political and this book was just up his alley. As far as I can remember, the book only had roughly two sections dedicated to zombie attacks and the rest of the book seemed to be mostly a long diatribe of political rants; the evils of capitalism and the American war machine. The actors were horid. Im not sure why Max Brooks was cast to be the narrator for the book but his inability to make the conversations sound fluid and genuine were very disappointing. Also, although the interviews were done with people of different parts of the world, they all seemed to be well versed in American idioms. That took away a lot of the realism for me. Overall, a very disappointing book and audio.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    Nothing. He was horrible.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian Buena park, CA, United States 01-01-13
    brian Buena park, CA, United States 01-01-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Bad, Could Be Better"
    Would you try another book from Max Brooks and/or the narrators?

    Maybe, would listen to samples first.


    If you’ve listened to books by Max Brooks before, how does this one compare?

    No


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

    The narrator is good, there is multiple people doing it which makes that part really good.


    Did World War Z inspire you to do anything?

    No I was expecting a story of somebody living the event, not a bunch of reports of what happened in the past.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Jupiter, FL, United States 12-06-12
    Erik Jupiter, FL, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh, its different..."
    Any additional comments?

    I never understood the rave over this book. its ok and gives a post apocalypse view of what the zombie war was and how certain people around the world reacted. But it wasn't really exciting, wasn't funny, wasn’t intense, wasn't scary, wasn't witty...
    Basically if you were going to write a book report on what happened when the zombies started to destroy the world then this would be a good reference. So basically it’s just a fictional reference guide to something that never happened. Sound fun? Didn’t think so.
    But the production of the audio book was pretty cool. I mean they got Alan Alda to read a part...awesome!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 12-05-12
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 12-05-12 Member Since 2008

    Avid audiobook addict!

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    "Written like a bunch of first-person news reports"

    Interesting stories, from the perspectives of many different characters. Not a tongue-in-cheek humorous zombie story at all. Has some memorable anecdotes that do a convincing job of portraying very realistically what the many worldwide reactions to a real mass infection outbreak would be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Schieber McMinnville, OR United States 05-24-09
    S. Schieber McMinnville, OR United States 05-24-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Zombie audiobook perfection"

    I've listened to 100's of audiobooks, this is my first "Zombie" genre, and I LOVED it. The story is set as various 1st hand accounts from around the world, and the myriad of actors in the audiobook lend a fantastic authenticity to the story as they speak English in their native accents.
    I tend to like unabridged versions, and would love one of this, but I'll take even 7 hours of this tale.
    Of all the audiobooks I've listened to, I would rank this in the top 10, probably the top 5. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    THOMAS GREY Lawrenceville, Ga USA 10-23-08
    THOMAS GREY Lawrenceville, Ga USA 10-23-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great zombie story!"

    This was a fun read! I really enjoyed the cast of speakers and the way the story was told was just fun! I hope that we never have World War Z, but I want to be interviewed like this when I survive!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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